JUNE 2009 FOUR DOLLARS -^Ki «i 3Rsr^i»7 >JtR6IIU/^ \ D«pafim«nl of Gam« / ^^K^ ^^^B^ t's the time of year that you notice sub- tle changes in your 'viewshed' ... gradua- tion caps, pretty prom dresses, limousines at the church parking lot. You might pick up on these things as you run your daily errands. And, oh yeah, your neighbor rummaging around his garage, looking for his tackle box and gear! For many. Free Fishing Days (June 5-7) announce the formal kick-off to fish- ing season. June also signals the arrival of our annual kids 'n fishing photo contest, and it generates plenty of hands-on activi- ty: hands on a fishing pole, that is. Across the state, the tackle loaner program shifts into high gear Our friends and support- ers are encouraged to spread the word to those not quite ready to make a commit- ment to purchase a rod and reel. Loaner tackle is available at various DGIF offices and fish hatcheries throughout Virginia. Contact your regional office or go on- line to http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/ education/fishing/tackle-loaner.pdf to locate a site near you. This summer marks another big push to recruit lapsed anglers back into the fold. We know you didn't mean to let your fishing license expire ... and we know you might just need a friendly re- minder about keeping your priorities straight — what with world events and family obligations crowding your internal hard drive. How do you plan to get through the coming heat wave and skip out on the Saturday morning "honey do" list if you don't have your fishing license handy and your truck packed with gear? It's nearly impossible to make a fast get-away without planning ahead. But seriously, keep>- ing current with your fishing license reaps other benefits beyond the need to balance work with play. License dollars help pay for conservation projects that protect Vir- ginia fish and their habitat, support fish stocking efforts, and fund research and management. In other words, your invest- ment in fishing goes a long way toward maintaining healthy fish! The focus on angler retention and strong fisheries extends beyond state borders, of course. A new program of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Founda- tion called "Anglers' Legacy" aims to re- mind anglers young and older about the many benefits of staying actively in- volved. In addition to pumping dollars back into local economies and support- ing publicly managed resources, fishing with a friend or family member strength- ens bonds and builds relationships. The foundation urges you to take out some- one new to the sport. Doing so will reward you with the feel-good vibes of having shared your knowledge about the natural world — a critical step in protect- ing it. For more information about the program, including making a pledge of support, go to: www.AnglersLegacy.org. Sally Mills, Editor :ian Mission Statement To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to sei^e the needs of the Commonwealth; To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game its provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; To promote safety for persons and prop- erty in connection with boating, himting and fishing; To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginias fish and wildlife resources, their habitiiLs, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities. Dedicated to the Conservation of Virginia's Wildlife and TSlatural Resources VOLUME 70 NUMBER 6 Commonwealth of Virginia Timothy M. Kalne, Governor HUNTING & FISHING LICENSE FEES Subsidized this publication Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant, Jr. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Bob Duncan Executive Director Members of the Board Ward Burton, Halifax Sherry Smith Crumley, Buchanan William T. Greer, Jr., Norfolk James W. Hazel, Oakton C. T. Hill, Midlothian Randy J. Kozuch, Alexandria John W. Montgomery, Jr., Sandston Mary Louisa Pollard, Irvington Richard E. Railey, Courtland Thomas A. Stroup, Fairfax Charles S. Yates, Cleveland Magazine Staff Sally Mills, Editor Lee Walker, Ron Messina, Julia Dixon, Contributing Editors Emily Pels, Art Director Carol Kushlak, Production Manager Color separations and printing by Progress Printing, Lynchburg, VA. Virginia Wildlife (ISSN 0042 6792) is published mont ly by the Virginia Department of Game and Inlar Fisheries. Send all subscription orders and addre changes to Virginia Wildlife, P. O. Box 7477, Red Oa Iowa 51591-0477. Address all other communication concerning this publication to Virginia Wildlife, P. < Box 11104, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmon Virginia 23230-1104. Subscription rates are $12.95 f one year, $23.95 for two years; $4.00 per each bai issue, subject to availability. Out-of-country rate $24.95 for one year and must be paid in U.S. fund No refunds for amounts less than $5.00. To su scribe, call toll-free (800) 710-9369. Postmaste Please send all address changes to Virginia WiW/i, PO. Box 7477, Red Oak, Iowa 51591-0477. Postage h periodicals paid at Richmond, Virginia and additio al entry offices. Copyright 2009 by the Virginia Department of Gan and Inland Fisheries. All rights reserved. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shf afford to all persons an equal access to Departmei programs and facilities without regard to race, cole religion, national origin, disabihty, sex, orage. If yc believe that you have been discriminated against i any program, activity or facility, please wmte t Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisherie ATTN: Compliance Officer, (4010 West Broad Street RO. Box 11104, Richmond, Virginia 23230-1104. "This publication is intended for general informatioi al purposes only and every effort has been made • ensure its accuracy. The information contained herei does not serve as a legal representation of fish an wildlife laws or regulations. The Virginia Departmei of Game and Inland Fisheries does not assurr responsibility for any change in dates, regulations, < information that may occur after publication." /\ Mixed Sourc Sources FSC JUN NTENTS About the cover: The prothtinotary warbler (Protono- tariacitrea) is just one of many species benefiting from research at the Inger and Wal- ter Rice Center on the James River. ©Maslowski Photo \ Magazine Subscriptions For subscriptions, circulation problems and address changes call: 1-800-710-9369 12 issues for $12.95 24 issues for $23.95 36 issues for $29-95 ''■nz«^; if Down on the Chick - by Jack Trammell A researcher at Randolph-Macon aims to preserve a slice of river history. 8 Making a Difference for Wildlife by Bruce Ingram Forward-thinking leaders in Bedford County accommodate local priorities. 12 Green Boating by Paula Neely Cleaner practices onboard and at the dock benefit all Virginia waterways. 16 Be Wild! Live Wild! Grow Wild! by Spike Knuth Our Not-So-Commtni Turtles Partnership on the James by Marie Majarov Magnificent things are happening at the Inger and Walter Rice Center. OC Goose Patrol tmM byTeeCIarkson TTie entrepreneurial spirit plus the right dog for the job just might move some geese. Afield and Afloat Zo Journal • 2008 Angler Hall of Fame •2008 Angler of the Year 99 Dining In 34 Photo Tips 35 On The Water own on t e essence of a river-based community byJackTrammell /""^^ ew rivers in Tidewater better k_5jL represent dramatic environ- ^ r mental change or historical ^^-^ and cultural richness tlian the Chickahominy. From its humble begin- nings in Henrico and Hanover coun- ties where it is a mere trickle, to its mouth at the James where the water stretches up to a mile across, the "Chick" — as some locals call it — is a curious blend of past and present. Until recent times, a vibrant culture existed along its banks, comprised of hard- working families who often spent VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com more time on the water than they did on dry land. This rich but insular community reached its zenith during the period just before and after World War II. An ethnographic project supported in part by Randolph-Macon College is attempting to recapture and preserve as much of that culture as possible, using photographs, letters, docu- ments, and other cultural artifacts. Most important, those who lived there at the time and remember their experiences are being interviewed and their memories recorded. Bill Buck, a waterman and horticulturist, grew up on the river during the 1940s and, along with friends and neigh- bors, has been recounting what it was like to be part of this small and very unique community. "That river was a different river," Buck said, agreeing with many oth- ers. "There were acres and acres of lily pad fields, and now they are gone. I'm not sure why. There were very few houses compared to now. You could go for long stretches and see nothing but water and trees." --llHr^'lSiJ:'!^ m itt;^ Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), shown here, fl typically at the edge of the marsh. The childhood grew up on the river, still remains. ourishes in freshwater zones, home of Bill Buck (pg. 4), who Buck recalled that during his youth, when he was growing up in a white two-story house on the west bank of the river near Holdcroft (known as Old Neck), everything was oriented toward the water. "I was on the river all of the time," he re- called. "We used a unique kind of boat, a Chickahciminy boat, which was mostly a flat-bottom-type boat, but different from other types you see [around the bay region]. They had pine bottoms and cypress sides, no caulk, and the gaps closed only after the wood was in the water. You had to soak the boat. I was out there every day, fishing, swimming, setting pots — even going to get ice cream at the store a few miles away." Others recall that mail came by water; supplies from as far downriv- er as Norfolk and even livestock were moved in Chickahominy boats. Cou- ples were married on boats, anci in some cases, the deceased moved by river to their final resting place. When Chickcihominy River families went Christmas shopping, some traveled by packet ship up the bay to Baltimore. The river was the central organizing theme in their lives. Members of Buck's family taught and exposed him to various water-re- lated skills. His grandfather stretched white oak boards in the barn to even- tually carve into special paddles for the Chickahominy boats — part pad- dle, part sculling oar, and part pole. The oars were cut out of a single piece of the specially cured wood and qual- ify by any woodworking standards as true works of art. Few are left now. Buck also learned from his Uncle Penny how to set crab pots and cat- fish pots, how to mend nets, and how to sell his catch at Menzel's Fish House downriver, which sent fresh seafood to Baltimore and Washing- ton, D.C. "This river is in my blood," Buck said. It was where he learned to catch 1 frogs, tell roes from bucks (female t and male shad), and where he saw electricity, indoor plumbing, tele- phones and television make their first appearance in many households. Inevitable Change But the river is changing. The lily pads are gone; housing develop- ments are rapicily springing up; anci perhaps most importantly, the com- pletion of Walker's dam that created Chickahominy Lake in 1943 severely interrupted many long-established natural patterns. In fact, some older locals who can remember the river before and after the dam mark its completion as the major turning point in the river's ecological history. The low-head dam was originally constnicteci by the U.S. War Depart- ment as a saltwater intrusion barrier, according to Brian Ramaley of New- port News Waterworks. Perhaps of equal importance, the dam ensured aciequate strategic water supplies for the vital Newport News Shipbuild- ing and Drydock Company. The roughly 400-foot concrete dam con- nects the New Kent and Charles City banks, and originally included twin Denil fish ladders for anadromous species, as well as a boat lock that could accommodate vessels up to al- most 40 feet long. At present, the dam ensures a water supply for almost half a million civilian customers in the tidewater region. Chickahominy Lake, which is above the dam approximately 22 Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) with signature 'knees' are part of the riverscape. Hsh patterns have remained stable. It's also not clear what the long-term effects of the dam have been on mi- gratory fish and water quality. "The shad fishery is dead," Buck said. "I don't mean that you can't find some shad, but the fishing camps are gone, the shad run is gone, and the days of filling wooden fish boxes up with hundreds of shad are gone." For Bill Buck and many others who remember the old Chicka- hominy before the dam, memories are still vivid and tinged with sad- ness over the passing of an era. These memories include crude fish- ing villages, now overgrown and vanishing in the trees, water-related industries like the factory where bricks were loaded onto barges bound for various destinations, a Vestiges of the once thriving commercial fishery can still be seen in workboats and crab pots dotting the shoreline. miles northwest of the confluence with the James River and consists of more than 1200 acres, became the site for a number of businesses. Recre- ational use of the lake steadily in- creased over the following decades. Commercial traffic on the river, how- ever, was stymied by the dam and eventually died out. In 2007, the dam failed. Though studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s indicated that large numbers of shad were passing over the dam, it is not so clear that colonial-era shipyard, or even fish- ing for eels under the lily pads with a simple piece of string and a thread. "You could fill the boat up with them," Buck reminisced. "Do you want to try it sometime? Now that the pads are gone, though, I'm not absolutely sure where to go to do that now..." Some say that the water itself is significantly different. "It's not clear anymore," noted an eastern Chickahominy tribe mem- \\ VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Downriver, where salt water rules, blue crabs still succumb to the baited trap. ber. "It used to be crystal clear before the dam." The Chickahominy were the first Americans to irJiabit tlie river area, and even in modern times, tribe members remember grandparents who made their sole living from the river. "The river has been dead in my time," Jerry Adkins, an eastern Chickahominy native, admitted. Like almost all other eastern U.S. rivers, the Chickahominy has suf- fered from pollution. A tributary near a Tyson Plant was recently identified under the Clean Water Act as being degraded by "excess levels of phos- phorus," which impairs bottom- dwelling critters so important to the 1 food chain. State efforts resulted in = improvements by 2004. Some plant species, such as the small whorled pogonia and the sensitive joint vetch. This old crane horl<ens from an earlier time, when shipbuilding and commercial river traffic peaked, and now serves as an osprey nest platform. Below: Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) are still plentiful in the Chickahominy system. remain on state and federal protec- tion or endangered lists. Other species, like bald eagles, have made notable comebacks. Even so, the state health department has issued warn- ings about eating too many fish from the river. The disappearance of large fields of lily pads continues to perplex many. The river was once known for vast expanses of yellow pond lily, ac- companied in some places by pick- erelweed. Most of the pads disap- peared around the turn of the new millennium. U.S. Geological Survey water quality and water flow records for the last 50 years do show some fluctuations — liigh mercxiry levels in the early 1990s, for example — ^but no single factor that would account for the disappearance of the pads, which under most circumstances would be caused by a catastrophic event, such as a tidal backwash during a hurri- cane, rather than by pollution. Preserving a Piece of History Even now, when people find vestiges of the old river days, they are fasci- nated. One of the few remaining Chickahominy boats garners atten- tion along Route 60 at an old seafood restaurant. Decades' old bricks dot the landscape around the vanishing brickyard. An old crane used to soak barnacles off ship-building, wooden "ways" rests quietly in shallow water, rusting along the riverbank. Barges from the days of commercial river traffic can be found deteriorat- ing, mostly hidden now along the marshy banks. And a few ambitious commercial fishermen still ply their trade on the river below the dam, set- ting crab pots and nets, and selling their hard-earned catches further south in Norfolk aiid other markets. Artifacts preserve a tiny portion of the history of this period: photo- graphs, grave and tombstone inscrip- tions, old letters, business ledgers, even recipes. There are also many dif- ferent physical remembrances, in- cluding grass-concealed stone foun- dations, rotting pylons, and road traces running through the woods. Some remains date back to colonial times, when a shipyard thrived at Shipyard Point. It was burned by the British in the War of 1812. Over time, these artifacts have scattered and are only loosely con- nected now by time and place. The Chickahominy project, with the help of Bill Buck and others, aims to bring them together again for a new gener- ation to appreciate, f Jack Trammell enjoys fishing the Chick. He is a professor and administrator at Randolph- Macon College in Ashland and can be reached at itraiin>iel<f'^rnic.edn. ©MaslowskI Photo I Bedford County accommodates wildlife in the face of growth by Bnice Ingram edford County is like many I counties across the common- wealth that stnjggle to deal with growth and simultaneously maintain agricultural and rural areas. Upscale townhouse developments are crowding the shores of Smith Mountain Lake; rapicily expanding suburbs are extending out from such communities as Forest and the city of Bedford; and the agricultural areas that historically have made this pied- mont domain one of the top places in the commonwealth to pursue deer and turkeys are slowly being paved over. To help protect the traditional rural nature of Bedford, the county's Board of Supervisors created the 12- person Bedford Agriculture Econom- ic Development Advisory Board. Jerry Craig is one of tlie individuals appointed to what is known as the "ag board." "Before the ag board, I think many landowners were only thinking agri- culturally but not natural resources," he said. "Corn, cows, and hogs are very important, but natural resources go hand in hand with agriculture. Name one farm anywhere that does- n't have tiees and wildlife. Our goal is that when farmers think agricul- ture today, they also think wildlife." To learn what Bedford is doing to protect its outdoor heritage, I spent a day with Craig touring the county. Our first stop was at a 283-acre tract that the county owns within the Bed- ford city limits, where we met Todd Kready a county forester for the Vir- ginia Department of Forestry (DOF). Food Plots and Riparian Zones Many of Virginia's counties have traditionally owned rural land, but the all-too-typical ways to deal with it have been to sell, develop, or post the properties. "The ag board approached the DOF and asked us to come up with a stewardship plan for this land," Kready told me as we were driving across the property. "DOF foresters across the state are available for free to help local government agencies come up with plans to enhance wildlife habitat on county-owned lands." So after talking with county offi- cials and the ag board, Kready de- vised the following stewardship plan that identified sites: ♦ For food plots and wildlife view- ing areas where urban and subur- ban school children could learn the connection between wildlife and habitat; ♦ Where trees such as black wal- nuts and sycamores could be planted along Poor House Creek and create a wider buffer zone; ♦ Where hedgerows could be planted to create habitat for song- birds, rabbits, quail, and other wildlife; ♦ Where warm season grasses could be planted; ♦ Where historical interpretative opportunities existed in the form of old barns and graveyards; and VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www HuntFishVA.com F Eugene Hester White-throated sparrow r \mi ©Maslowski Photo ♦ That could be made handicapped accessible, near a pond. "Everybody can be happy with this plan because of all the different user groups that could benefit," said Kready as we prepared to leave. "Just think what this property will look like in five to ten years." Fifth-Generation Farm Our second stop was at the Fellers farm, where Pete Fellers is the fourth generation to live on the Bedford County property. Pete wants to make sure that this rural heritage continues for another generation. "I am one of the few people that were fortunate enough to come back to my granddaddy's place to live," Fellers told us as we stood in his front yard and looked out over the land. "But every morning after I returned, when I woke up I could hear bulldoz- ers on the north and east sides of the property and see more of those 'Mc- Mansions' going up. "I didn't want our family farm to end up like that, so I invited Roger Holnback of the Western Virginia Land Trust (WVLT) to come, and he showed me the benefits of conserva- tion easements, like tax breaks." JUNE 2009 Jerry Craig said that the ag board is actively promoting conservation easements, especially on farms such as this one. Roaring Run flows through the property and serves as an important wildlife corridor, as Fellers maintains a 35-foot buffer on one section and plans to improve the riparian zone on the rest. With encouragement from the WVLT, and of course Fellers himself, his cousins and aunt are now consid- ering placing nearby family land under a conserv^ation easement. Later, Fellers shepherds us to the creek's riparian zone. As we walk along a path, we spot a turkey dust- ing bowl, jump up several deer, and hear eastern wood pewees aiid yel- low-billed cuckoos. Outreach Education, Community College Style Our third stop was at the Central Vir- ginia Community College (CVCC)- Bedford Center. There we met Dr. Robert Lowry, college director. What's a higher learning institution have to do with wildlife? Plenty, as I learned. DOF forester Todd Kready shows ag board member Jerry Ciaig a field on Bedford County-owned land that would be a good place for warm season grasses. ©Bruce Ingram "The CVCC has partnered with the ag board to create an educational pipeline that moves farmers as well as students who want to become farmers into agricultural and envi- ronmental studies," Lowry told us. "Our objective is to educate as many of Bedford's populace as we can on tlie essential and interrelated nature of agriculture and wildlife. And that what is often good for one is good for the other. "If, through this program, we are able to influence current and future farmers on how they can both make a profit and improve their farm's habi- tat for wildlife and thus have their parents and their children after them remain on the land, then we will have accomplished tliat objective," he said. The CVCC has received a grant from the Tobacco Commission as its funding source. The college will have a continuing education program for current farmers and a full curriculum in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences for full-time students. Inter- estingly, ag board members will be enrolled as students in some of the classes, so they will be better able to communicate to the community the benefits of this agricultural and envi- ronmental synergy. "Virginia is los- ing its farms at a rapid rate," conclud- ed Lowry as Craig and I prepared to leave. "CVCC sees our agricultural and environmental curriculum as a prototype, a way to create a new type of farmer /conservationist, and a cur- riculum that can be used across the state. What's good for Bedford might not be good, for example, for Tidewa- ter. But our concept of benefiting both farms and wildlife is portable." An Urban Wildlife Oasis To reach our next stop, Craig and I had to drive through downtown For- est to arrive at the 355-acre farm of Gene and Laura Goley. We threaded our way through traffic and past mini-malls and gas stations. Then, and even more now, the property serves as a wildlife oasis as develop- ment engulfs all but one side of the property, which the Goley family has farmed for five generations and which was once owned by Thomas Jefferson. Gene Gciley is a member of the ag board and wants his land to serve as an example of how other farmers can still earn a profit, yet also make wildlife-friendly management deci- sions. "Laura and I have fenced off all our creeks to keep the cattle out," Gene told us as we walked down a * 11 Pete Fellers walks down a lane that runs through his land and provides transitional habitat between two stands of trees. \ Gene Goley shows us where he built fences to keep cattle away from a stream. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com F Eugene Hester iLiMnslowski Photo farm lane. "We have created over 30 acres of riparian buffer along our streams. And we have planted thou- sands of trees such as oaks, ashes, and dogwoods to help slow runoff from our cattle c^perations and enhance wildlife habitat. "The Farm Services Agency and the DGIF through its WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program) showed us the benefit of planting warm sea- son grasses for c]uail and other wildlife. This year, we got 54 rolls of hay off 12 acres of switchgrass. So we've planted 36 acres more in such warm season grasses as switchgrass, big and little bluestem, and Indian- grass. All in all, we have almost 60 acres in warm season grasses, and the quail just love it. And I'm harvesting plenty of hay for my cattle," he said. Almost as if on cue, we heard the whistling sounds of a bobwhite, and I remarked what a rare sound that was these days. But then another quail chimed in, then another, and then an- other until the fields seemed to be alive with bobs — which they were. Gene then showed us where he has planted loblolly pines for futvire timbering operations and where he conducted some selective timber cut- ting to improve wildlife habitat. But he cheerfully admitted that he has made money off these projects while assisting wildlife. "The ag board is continually en- couraging Bedford farmers and rural landowners to look into conservation JUNE 2009 easements and find out about the fi- nancial and tax breaks of doing so," Gene said as Jerry Craig and I pre- pared to leave. "And I also like to point out to folks that there's nothing wrong with a farmer making money and helping wildlife at the same time." Our last stop was at the business of Jeff Powers, chairman of the ag board. Powers tells us at 90-minute- long monthly public meetings (where the county administrator and director of economic development also attend), the ag board discusses a host of issues having to deal with agriculture and wildlife. Ag board committees exist on marketing agricultural products, out- reach education and events, and land protection and conservation. For ex- ample, the board brought in Virginia Tech experts on the financial and wildlife benefits of reintroducing na- tive warm season grasses. As a result, some Bedford landowners entered into agreements to establish such grasses on their properties. "I am also proud that another Vir- ginia county recently contacted us and asked how the folks there could set up an ag board like ours," said Powers. "We were glad to help. I want the word to spread that preserving agri- cultural lands benefits wildlife." D Bruce Iii^nvn ;s the author o/'The James River Guide, The New River Guide, and The Shenandoah / Rappahannock Rivers Guide. To obtniii a copy, cotitnct Ingram at P.O. Box 429, Fi}icastlc, VA 24090 or bcjitgrani&juno.coiu. DOF forester Todd Kready helped Bedford County draw up a stewardship plan for this 283-acre tract that it owns. DOF will do the same for any county in the state. Good for waterways, good for business by Paula Neely n 2007, the crew of the Cap- tain John Smith shallop, a replica built using 17th-cen- tury materials and techniques, rowed and sailed around the Chesapeake Bay, retracing the English captain's 1608 expedition. Along the way, they met with thousands of Virginians to increase awareness about how the bay and its tribvitaries — including the James, Rappahannock, York and Potomac rivers — have changed in the last 400 years and the need to be better stewards of ovir waterways. The message is sinking in. More and more boaters are going "green," whether they're recycling waste or using fuel-efficient engines, solar- powered motors, or environmentally friendly accessories. They're also choosing to dock at "Cleai"i Marinas," a certification that has become in- creasingly marketable. According to Tom Murray, marine business and coastal development specialist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, "There is a continu- ing evolution toward environmental stewardship and clean boating prac- tices from regulatory tightening, to the boating community becoming more environmentally aware." "Industry is doing their part, too," Murray said. "They understand that boaters want clean water." Boat engine manufacturers also face more stringent EPA regulations to reduce smog-forming and carbon monoxide emissions from new in- board and outboard motors when Clean Boating Act regulations take effect in 2010. In response, they have already developed more efficient 4- stroke engines that bum cleaner and use less fuel tlian most 2-stroke en- gines. But green boating "is more about the behavior of boaters than boats," according to Murray. 12 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Green practices that boaters are encouraged to adopt include recy- cling monofilament line and trash, stowing debris so that it doesn't blow off the boat, using environmentally friendly boat cleaning techniques and products, using oil-absorbent materials in the bilge, and using on- shore sewage holding, pump-out sta- tions instead of discharging waste into waterways. Knowing where you are in the water is also very important, he said. In the coastal zone, boats coming too close to shore or going too fast create a chop that undermines the shoreline and critical habitat. "These areas are usually marked as idle speed zones, but some folks don't pay attention or don't know where they are," he said. Murray added that a new Virginia law that recjuires anyone operating a personal watercraft or motorboat to pass a safe boating course or an equivalency test may help educate more boaters about environmentally friendly practices and mitigate some of the problems. Administered by the DGIF, the law will be phased in be- tween now and 2016, depending on the age of the boat operator. VIMS has also produced a DVD, "Bling My Boat," through the Clean Marina Program to help educate boaters about how to be better envi- ronmental stewards. "It's designed to appeal to younger audiences and provides information in an entertain- ing format," according to Anne Smith, marina technical advisory specialist for the program managed by Virginia Sea Grant. The video will be distributed to boating organiza- tions to be used as part of the boater safety education program, and it's available by request. Clean Marinas As boaters become more environ- mentally savvy marinas are finding that going green is also good for busi- ness. "Boaters want clean marinas. It's a national program, and they look for the certification when they're choos- ing a marina," said Smith. Currently, about 100 marinas are certified or have requested certifica- Top: A wind generator, shown here, augments power supphed by other means. Above: This hybrid utib'zes two 36-volt electric drives in addition to an outboard, reducing fuel consumption. JUNE 2009 13 The Loon n recent years, the SunZl was the first solar-powered sailboat to cross the At- lantic, and Earthrace, a bio-diesel power- boat, set a new world record for circum- navigating the globe. They attracted glob- al attention, but what's available commer- cially for recreational boatersin Virginia? For boating on lakes, the Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Co. in Ontario, Canada, developed the Loon (shown here), the first commercially available solar-powered recreational boat a couple of years ago. A new model, designed by the same people who designed the Aptera electric car, is expected to be available this summer at prices competitive with traditional pon- toon boats. Monte Gisborne, company president, said, "The Loon will be a definitive game- changer in the recreational boating world, a revolutionary zero-emission, zero-noise product to replace the most popular of loud dinosaur-burners — the pontoon boat." Gisborne said solar panels power the boat directly or charge batteries as the boat runs. It can also be charged by plug- ging into power outlets at marinas. Top cruising speed on the new Loon is expect- ed to be about 7 knots. For extended overnight travel, an op- tional cruiser package convertis the Loon into a "pop-up trailer on the water" with curtained sides, a galley and sleeping ac- commodations. To introduce the boat, Gisborne and his family traveled about 200 miles on the Erie Canal for 12 days. They spent a total of $3 on electricity supplied by marinas. "The majority of our customers will never need to augment the solar power with shore power," he said. For more information, visit www.tamarack electricboats.com. For powerboats. Scout Boats in con- junction with Lenco Marine introduced the 145 Hybrid, the industry's first fiber- glass hybrid boat, last year. "Scout is an energy conscious company and we strive to create increased fuel efficiency with our model designs," said Scout Boats President Steve Potts. Ideal for backwaters, the 14.5-ft. boat features a 20hp Yamaha outboard motor flanked by dual 36-volt electric drives, which are operated with a joystick in the helm instead of a steering wheel. A 16-ft. version will be available soon. For more information, visit www.scoutboats.com. The first hybrid engine system for pleasure boats was also Launched last year by Frauscher Boats in collaboration with STEYR Motors. The zero-emission electric drive mode provides speeds up to 5 knots for inland boating around harbors and nature reserves, and switches to a diesel combustion engine for more power and speed. It's currently available in the U.S. from California Chris Craft. For more information, visit www.frauscherboats.com. tion as a Virginia Clean Marina. Smith said the program was intro- duced to marinas closest to the coast first and will soon be available far- ther inland. To become certified, marinas vol- untarily demonstrate compliance with best management practices such as providing recycling opportu- nities, training employees how to handle oil and fuel spills, displaying signs that encourage green boating practices, enclosing service and maintenance yards so that storm runoff won't contaminate water- ways, recycling water used for pres- sure washing, and providing pump- out systems. More and more boaters are going "green," whether they're reqcling waste or using fuel-efficient engines, solar-powered motors, or environ- mentally friendly accessories. Yankee Point Marina on Meyer Creek in Lancaster was one of the first to become a Virginia Clean Mari- na, and owner Ken Knoll takes extra measures to protect the creek. "It's a mindset," he said. "We ask ourselves, 'What can we do to make it better?' . . . It costs money, but you get it back in the long run." For example, he volun- tarily upgraded a building used for painting to contain paint chips and spills, and installed drains at strategic A vacuum sander captures paint chips before they reach the ground. 14 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Ken Knoll of Yankee Point Manna was an early supporter of the Clean Marina Program and related stewardship efforts. locations around the building to cap- ture storm runoff that might be con- taminated. Smith explained that preventing paint chips from entering the water is important because they contain heavy metals that may be consumed by oysters, clams, worms, and other marine creatures and passed up the food chain to fish, birds, and humans. Knoll also works one-on-one with boat owners to help educate them about clean boating practices, and he sends a newsletter to about 1,800 boaters. "Our biggest issue is the public... trying to get customers to follow the rules." At Tides Inn Marina on Carter's Creek in Irvington, George Jackson said, "We try to make it convenient to do tlie right thing." The marina pro- vides pump-out service in slips and at the dock. "We're one of the few marinas that do that," he noted. Batlihouses iii the marina are also held to the same standards of service and cleanliness as a luxury hotel. "If people use the marina facilities, it helps minimize the waste in holding tanks on their boats," he said. "Ours get a lot of use." "Being a clean marina makes a big difference to some boaters. They wouldn't consider staying some- place that wasn't," he said. At nearby Carter's Cove Marina, a gravel parking lot, tall grass buffers, and wetlands help absorb or trap pol- lutants and sediment from runoff be- fore they reach the water. Free pump- out service is offered to encourage proper disposal of waste. Owner Keith Knowlton said, "Being a clean marina is great for P.R. People come here because it's a nice clean facility, and for that we're able to charge higher rates and... attract classier customers." James Wagner, owner of Regent Point Marina at the mouth of the Rappahannock River in Topping, agrees that the designation is good for business. A few years ago when he bought the all-sailboat facility, the slips weren't full. Since it became a Clean Marina, all 130 slips have been rented and there's a waiting list. One of the unique green features at Regent Point Marina is a water gar- den that filters soiled water from the boat washing area. That water drains into a trough that pipes it into the gar- den. Organic waste and paint chips captiired in the trough are periodical- ly cleaned out and put into a dump- ster. Plants in the garden take up other contaminants. "I want to attract people who care. . . not people who want to pour oil on the ground," he said, i Paula Neely is a Richmond writer and public re- lations consultant who looks for any excuse to get out on the -water. She enjoys trout fishing, birding, and sailing. Green Boating Products Keith Knowlton of Carter's Cove Marina has instituted many Clean Marina practices. solarpanels A walk through any marina will usually reveal at least several boats equipped with solar panels or wind generators to power accessories and recharge batteries. These and other products, such as a fuel whistle that Lets you know when your gas tank is almost full to help prevent spills, may be conveniently ordered from www.greenboatstuff.com. The online specialty store also offers hemp rope, cotton string bags, organic soap and plant-based cleaning products, biodegradable sunscreen, and hundreds of other green boating products. Stores that sell green cleaning supplies and other products may also be located through Green Seal, www.greenseal.org. JUNE 2009 15 CZI xaif*- Story and illustrations by Spike Knuth Anyone who has walked along a pond or lakeshore is probably familiar with the sight of turtles sunning on a log nearby. Suddenly they come alive as you approach and begin tumbling into the safety of the water. Turtles, in general, are a com- mon reptile in many Virginia waters. Worldwide there are 260 or so species of turtles on all continents, except Antarctica, and in all oceans. Virginia hosts some 23 species. Turtles have bony, protective shells; the 'carapace' on top and the 'plastron' on bottom. Shells are joined on the sides by a narrow bridge. They have a horny beak-like mouth and dry scaly skin. Turtles can survive for months without food and are able to overwinter while buried in the bottom mud of a pond without having to come to the surface to breathe. While Virginia waters have nu- merous, common turtle species, otli- ers demand more specialized habi- tats or are being slowly isolated by land development. These particular turtles, featured here, are either threatened or endangered due to the loss of niche habitats in critical lo- cations. Spotted Turtle Chicken Turtle (Deirocheh/s reiicularia reticularia) The chicken turtle is recognized and so named for its long, striped yellow and green neck which it can stretch out as long as its shell! Its carapace averages 4 to 6 inches and is longer than it is wide, spreading widest over the hind legs. Although wide ranging in the southeastern U.S., it is rare in Virginia and found only at two locations in the southeastern reaches. Popula- tions have declined according to re- cent studies. It prefers still waters and is found in shallow ponds, swamps, and ditches with abundant vegeta- tion. In Virginia, it inhabits the fresh- water cypress ponds in First Landing State Park and sinkhole ponds on a private farm in Isle of Wight County. Little is known about the chicken turtle's nesting habits. These turtles feed on tadpoles, crayfish, and aquat- ic plants. They are fonci of basking in the sun on logs, stumps, or rocks, their long necks intended. beWild!L:..WiU Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) The spotted turtle is a small freshwa- ter turtle with a blackish-blue cara- pace spotted with small yellow spots. Carapace length averages 4^2 to 5 inches. Favoring quiet waters with mud bottoms and low-growing vegeta- tion, this turtle lives in ponds, ditch- es, streams, flooded fields, swamps, and bogs. Occasionally, it is found in the upper reaches of tidal creeks in brackish marshes. Spotted turtles are mainly carnivorous, feeding on in- sects, worms, slugs, snails, and cray- fish. Two to four eggs are laid in June in sunny areas. The young hatch out in September and October or they may overwinter in the nest until spring. Adults winter underwater in soft mud bottoms or vegetation debris. Spotted turtles are found in Northern Virginia and east of the Blue Ridge, except for Augusta and Page counties in the Shenandoali Val- ley. Their status in Virginia is fairly secure, but illegal poaching for the pet trade remains a primary threat. Northern Map Turtle (Gaptemys geographica) The map turtle is named for the light, squiggly lines on its carapace, likened to roads on a map. It is a fairly large freshwater turtle; males meas- ure 4 to Syk inches and females, 7 to Chicken Turtle 16 10y4 inches. Its somewhat flattened carapace is greenish to olive-brown in color, and it has a distinctive yel- low spot behind the eyes. This turtle inhabits slow-moving larger rivers, lakes, and backwater sloughs that have mud bottoms, dense vegetation, and woody debris. They like to bask on logs like other turtles, but they often stack atop each other. Larger females have crushing jaws and feed on freshwater clams and snails. Males and juveniles feed on insects, crayfish, and small mol- lusks. Map turtles nest from May into July, laying 10 to 16 eggs in soft ground often away from water. They hatch in about 2|/2 months and hatch- lings may overwinter in the nest. Map turtles are found in southwest- em Virginia in the upper Tennessee River drainage in the Powell, Clinch, and Holston river systems. Wood Turtle (Gly-ptcmys insculpia) The wood turtle is another turtle rare in the commonwealth and found mainly in Northern Virginia from Ar- lington west to Warren County — an area which continues to experience rapid growth. Illegal poacliing for the pet trade remains a serious concern for this species. It is a moderate-sized, terrestrial and semi-ac|uatic turtle. Its sculp- Wood Turtle tured carapace is grayish-brown and the skin of its neck and forelegs are reddish orange. The wood turtle is a diurnal species that inliabits decidu- ous woodlands close to streams, bogs, and wet meadows. It is com- monly found wandering far from water but needs moist habitats. It nests in late May to early July, laying 7 to 14 eggs which hatch in Septem- ber and October. Wood turtles are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including wild fruits, fungi, earthworms, slugs, and carrion. Come winter, they hiber- nate in sandy, muddy bottoms of ponds, under sub- merged logs, and in muskrat burrows. Northern Map Turtle JUNE 2009 Bog Turtle '^awaw^pj^^ Bog Turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) The bog turtle is listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It is of special concern and rare in Virginia. It's a small, dark brown turtle with a conspicuous yel- low, orange, or reddish blotch on each side of the head. This turtle measures about 4 inches long and is seen mainly in spring. It is often found in association with the spotted tvirtle in swamps, slow-moving streams, flooded ditch- es, spring pools and, especially, bogs of sphagnum moss. While at home on land, during hot spells it aesti- vates — burying itself in soft mud. Not much is known about its nest- ing habits in Virginia but it probably lays one to six eggs in June in hollows in soft ground, often merely covered with grass. Hatchlings emerge in Au- gust and September. Bog turtles feed on berries, insects, slugs, snails, worms, water cress, beetles, and plants. Bog turtles are known to be in the southwestern counties of Carroll, Floyd, Grayson, and Patrick. Habitat loss, habitat isolation, and illegal poaching are primary threats to this turtle. Striped-necked Musk Turtle (Stemotherus minor peltifer) This is a small acjuatic turtle and, in Virginia, it is known only from the Clinch, Holston, and Powell rivers and their tributaries. It measures SVs to 5/4 inches. Its grayish brown skin has black speckles on the head and neck which form a semblance of stripes. It has a relatively large head; the beak of the lower jaw curving up- ward, with a pair of barbels on its chin. The striped-necked musk turtle lives in creeks, spring runs, rivers, oxbows, swampS/ and sinkhole Eastern Spiny Soft-shelledTurt ponds. It is usually associated with running water and is often seen crawling along a stream bottom. It can remain submerged for long peri- ods of time. This turtle feeds on snails, clams, crustaceans, aquatic in- sect larvae, and carrion. Little is known about its reproduction habits. Striped-necked MuskTurtle i Eastern Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle (Apalonc spinifem spinifcrn) With a round, keel-less, flattened carapace that feels like sandpaper, it's harci to confuse this with any other turtle. The spiny soft-shelled has an elongated snout and neck, and its feet are strongly webbed. Males measure 5 to 9!/4 inches long and the fe- males, 6/2 to 18 inches. Its colors are olive-brown to orange-brown, with nu- merous black circles over the surface. This turtle lives main- ly in rivers or smaller tributaries with sandy to soft substrate and aquatic vegetation, and sand or mud bars for basking. This JUNE 2009 is another turtle that can remain submerged for a long time. It often lies in the shallows with just its pointed snout exposed. It feeds on aquatic anci terrestrial insects and insect larvae, water beetles, fish, cray- fish, worms, mussels, slugs, and car- rion. Anywhere from 4 to 32 eggs are laid in June and July, wliich hatch from late August to October. In Virginia, the spiny soft-shelled is found only in the upper Tennessee River and the Ohio River drainages in Buchanan and Dickenson counties. Northern Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) This is a turtle of salt marsh estuaries, tidal flats, interior waters of barrier is- lands, and coastal marshes. It possesses a nasal salt gland used to excrete excess salt in the body fluids. Its fairly large head and neck have speckled and spot- ted markings. The carapace has concen- tric rings or ridges, forming diamond- like patterns. The diamondback basks on mud flats and feeds on marine snails, clams, worms, and vegetation. Diamondback terrapins nest in April and May, laying 4 to 18 pinkish- white eggs at the edges of marshes and dunes in sandy soil above the high tide line. They winter in the mud of tidal flats and channels. From 1880 to about the 1930s, their meat was considered a delicacy and they were caught commercially — which nearly depleted their popula- tions. They are found along the coastal areas of Chesapeake Bay, tlie Eastern Shore, and southeastern reaches of the state. To learn more about Virginia's thirties see The Reptiles of Virginia by Joseph C. Mitchell, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994. D Spike Kiiiith is an avid iiatiimlist and loildlife artist. For over 30 years his artimrk afid writing have appeared in Virginia Wildlife. He is a mem- ber of the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association. Be Wild! Live Wild! Grow Wild! is a reg- ular feature that highlights Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan, which is designed to unite natural resources agencies, sportsmen and women, conservation- ists and citizens in a common vision for the conservation of the Common- wealth's wildlife and habitats in which they live. To learn more or to become involved with this program visit: be- wildvirginia.org. ©Marie Majarov M\RGIJU|^ fir Department of Game . & Inland Fisheries . Cross-disciplinary research is underway at the Inger and Walter Rice Center 20 REGION 1 OFFICE RICE CENTER by Marie Majarov ur nation's founding river, the 333-mile-long James, is mak- ing history once again by ad- vancing our knowledge of the envi- ronment through a broad spectrum of cutting-edge research, dynamic educational programs, and active public service at the Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences, which graces its banks. A magnificent outdoor living laborato- ry situated 40 miles below Richmond in Charles City County, the center's 343 acres were generously gifted to VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com I /irginia Commonwealth University (VCU) by Mrs. Rice to honor her late husband, the former Ambassador to Australia. VCU, an urban university with a faculty passionately committed to ecological concerns, is seizing this ex- traordinary opportunity to create a world-class field station with a pri- mary focus on large river ecosystems and their riparian, or fringing, land- scapes. Vital to this ambitious en- deavor is the center's emphasis on forging enduring partnerships and cooperation between numerous VCU academic units, external uni- JUNE 2009 versifies, governmental agencies, and private organizations — includ- ing the Department of Game and In- land Fisheries (DGIF), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Charles City County, among others. The site's rich cultural history dates back over 10,000 years to the Paleo-Indian period, meandering on- ward and prominently through colo- nial and Civil War times to become YMCA Camp Richmond, prior to purchase by the Rices. Now its varied aquatic and terrestrial habitats — tidal and non-tidal wetlands, vernal pools, river, upland and bottomland forests. pine forest, and open meadow — bus- tle with research and education activ- ities, amid diverse wonders such as one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the lower U.S. Rice Center Research One finds passion, excitement, and commitment brimming over, as re- searchers speak about their wide- ranging interests. A sampling of Rice's awe-inspiring faculty-student research endeavors include: '"^ Dr. Joy Ware heading investiga- tions focused on what she de- scribes as the "intersection of wildlife health, human health, and environmental health." Called Conservation Medicine, Dr. Ware's program is one of only a few in the country and is tack- ling such critical issues as Lyme disease. Page 20: Eagle's nest on the James River. Top left: Electrofishing techniques are demonstrated at the Gordon Research Pier Left: Dr Greg Garman and research associate Cathy Viverette head out for a day of field work. Below: A male prothonotary warbler. r'V ^ Dr. Gorman's crew proudly display flathead catfish safely brought to the surface through electrofishing. VCU graduate students confer with Dr. Joy Ware (R) about an eastern box turtle in the relocation project. 22 DGIF's John Kleopfer, a biologist and herpetologist, teams with Dr. Ware on an intriguing project per- taining to the safe relocation and health of the 'charismatic' eastern box turtle that will be expanded to a statewide population study in- volving school children directly in scientific inquiry. Dr. Paul Bukaveckas studying nu- trient and plankton dynamics in the waters of the James is develop- ing an innovative ecosystem model that will provide critical river and watershed management strategies. • Bees and understory flowering dogwood trees provide biologist Dr. Rodney Dyer, working with mathematician Dr. David Chan, opportunities to creatively chal- lenge his graduate students to ex- plore gene movement in pollen transfer using computer game technology, in such fascinatingly titled studies as, "Who Is Your Daddy?" and "Alien Invasion." Partnership The interagency partnerships that characterize so many of the accom- plishments of the Rice Center are nowhere more evident or better illus- trated than by the center's relation- ship with DGIF. Look to the Ray- mond Lee Gordon, Jr. research pier facility shared by Rice and the DGIF and the Department's Region 1 of- fice — a newly built green facility lo- cated at Rice. "We welcome the Virginia De- partment of Game and Inland Fish- eries to the VCU Rice Center," said Director Leonard Smock, Ph.D., at the office's dedication, and "we look forward to the opportunity the de- partment's presence will present for a unified effort to solve some of the pressing issues concerning Virginia's fisheries and wildlife." Indeed, link- ing with tlie DGIF mission to main- tain optimum populations of all species, a tremendous cooperative ef- fort is ongoing. VCU and DGIF, along with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Charles City County, also collaborate under an umbrella organization, the VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com '^^ ■-y^^^ €m&^. 'al^ ©Marie Majarov VZU graduate students studying warbler biology attempt to net an adult warbler as they pull up in their canoe. Wing cord measurements and weight are recorded for this bird, whose bands indi- cate it has previously bred and been captured in the Rice Center area. Atlantic Rivers Institute, to pull to- gether needed resources to advance and coordinate research, education, conservation, management, public health, and historical /cultural activi- ties with respect to all Atlantic coast rivers. DGIF district fisheries biologist Bob Greenlee emphasizes the impor- JUNE 2009 tant role the DGIF plays in assisting and supporting VCU research and graduate student projects: sharing substantial data and expertise on such critical topics as changes in James River freshwater fish assem- blages over time, inter-river differ- ences in population genetics, and blue catfish food habits. The continu- ing cooperative efforts of VCU and DGIF, feels Mr. Greenlee, will yield a "better understanding of the ecosys- tem structure and function of Vir- ginia's extremely dynamic freshwa- ter tidal river systems." Fish-related research activities at Rice are extensive. Dr. Greg Garman, director of VCU's Center for Environ- mental Studies (CES), and Cathy Viverette, CES research associate, ef- fectively manage scores of different Rice Center endeavors. Currently, they participate in a multi-institution and cross-disciplinary study of the little known effects of predation by "piscivorous" (fish-eating) birds, os- prey, eagles, and cormorants on fish populations — such as the Atlantic menhaden — and the relationship of these effects on fishery resources within the Chesapeake Bay and its major tributaries. Many complex in- teractions occur as man and birds ac- tively compete for fish in our rivers and bay. Atlantic menhaden are but one example of species that use tidal rivers such as the James for nursery areas, underscoring the importance of the health of coastal rivers to the larger ecosystem. Dr. Garman and as- sociates are also actively engaged in the restoration of anadromous (mi- grating upriver from the sea to spawn) species such as the Atlantic sturgeon and American shad, once prolific in the James. 23 I Wearing special magnification glasses, Cathy Viverette bands and weighs a prothonotaiy warbler chick. Another chick is banded by Dr. Bob Reilly below. TheProthonotary Warbler Project Ms. Cathy Viverette also helps direct a prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea) project, continuing the long- term studies of migration patterns and breeding habits begun in 1987 by now retired VCU ornithologists/ ecologists Charles and Leann Blem. The project has received national recognition, contributed to the lower James being designated an Audubon Important Bird Area, and further ex- emplifies the cooperative spirit that characterizes the Rice Center. A neo-tropical migrant songbird, the prothonotary warbler breeds throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, with major concentrations along tidal freshwater portions of Chesapeake Bay tributaries in Vir- ginia. One of only two cavity-nesting warblers, population numbers are declining in response to habitat degradation and loss of suitable nest cavities. From canoes, Ms. Viverette, Dr. Robert Reilly, Dr. and Mrs. Art Sei- denberg (VCU retired), along with graduate students and undergradu- ate assistants, regularly monitor over 600 nest boxes throughout the breed- ing season. They collect reproductive and health data and band young chicks and adults. Charles City County school children are integrally involved in crafting new nest boxes, each proudly signed by its builder. The boxes are scattered throughout the warblers' preferred swampy, lowland forests along trails in and around the Rice Center and neigh- boring properties: Presquile NWR, Deep Bottom Park, and Dutch Gap Conservation Area. The project's 22 years have gener- ated banding records for over 14,000 prothonotary warblers, including 1,400 females, many of whom return to breed in the boxes year after year, and over 4,000 egg clutches. Data in- dicate that the warblers have re- turned an average of one day earlier each year and suggest changes in egg production as well. Both are believed to be effects of global warming and have significant implications for con- servation. Because of the project's continuing, intensive efforts on be- half of the prothonotary warbler, populations in Virginia seem to be steady or increasing. Environmental Commitment The view of burgeoning new life at the Rice Center's once man-made 70- acre impoundment above the James is breathtaking. In a national move- ment to remove imnecessary dams in order to restore the natural flow of streams and revitalize wetlands, VCU is taking a lead role. Removal of the site's earthen dam is well under- way; already, the original flow of the area's natural streambeds has emerged along with vibrant new growth and cypress knees from the original wetlands covered over in the 1920s. VCU's ecology faculty and partners are designing a plan to re- store a bottomland forest and meth- ods of wetland plantings that will be a model for the region and beyond. Analogous to this magnificent wetland, the Rice Center is a thriving, energetic, emergent work in progress. Infrastructure has been fashioned, partnerships formed, the LEED-certified Walter L. Rice Educa- tion and Research Headquarters a re- ality. Enduring scientific gain is on- going; scholarship, flourishing; en- thusiasm, outreach, and contribution to public policy, unrivaled; and stu- dent commitment to the environ- ment, a life-long outcome. Partner- ship on the James will long continue to provide, in the words of Dr. Smock, an "understanding of the beauty, fragility and innate complexi- ty of our natural world." ] Marie and Milan Majarov (uKinc.niajarov.com), of Winchester, are clinical psychologists, nature enthusiasts, and members of the Virginia Out- door Writers Association. For more information: The Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences http: / / www.vcu.edu / rice I 24 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com .i^. 0^0k - -_i>>- - •••i^-' ^ ^: 'QDwight Dyke An eco-friendly approach to goose relocation byTeeClarkson \ hen we see someone who truly excels at a task, we often say, "They were bom to do it." Who would argue that Beethoven was not 'born' to write symphonies or that Michael Jordan was not 'born' to play basketball? Certainly we can say the same things about dogs, when we see them per- forming the task for which they were bred. And while there are English pointers out there that don't appreci- ate a quail hunt and Labs that aren't inclined to swim, dogs, like humans, are happiest when performing the task for which they were bom. Judy, a four-year-old Border collie, was born to herd. Centuries ago her JUNE 2009 ancestors herded sheep in Britain, but "They will herd anything that moves, from cats to people," said Albert Myers, Jutiy's owner. Nothing could be more evident now as Albert unhooks Judy from her lead and gives a com- mand that seems strangely out of place here on a crisp November morning at an office park in Rich- mond: "Way to me, Judy." And with that she is off, quickly moving up and down the bank, her shoulders hunched, her head low- ered, stalking the dozen or so geese now beginning to honk nervously in the middle of the pond. Juciy herds geese. £*^^*»-».- >r~ ^i Aibert Myers gives the command that his Border coiiie, Judy, has been waiting for. With the growing problem of resi- dent geese making their homes in neighborhoods, office parks, and golf courses, Albert Myers has developeci a rather unique, eco-friendly method of removing them from areas where they are not welcome. He herds them with Border collies. Albert originally began working geese with dogs in 2000, as a golf course superintendent. Word spread quickly of his practice and his success, and soon he began receiving phone calls from people asking if he could help them with their resident goose problem. At first Albert was just happy to have some work for the dogs, but in 2003, with interest continuing to grow, he start- ed Skyview Goose Control, a service aimed at safely and effectively con- trolling geese on properties where they are not wanted. Now, scaring off geese has become a means of income for Albert and Judy. "A common misconception," ac- cording to waterfowl project leader for the Department, Tom Bidrowski, "is that geese stopped migrating, and that is the reason for increased num- bers of geese remaining in Virginia year-round." This is simply not the case: "A migrant goose will go back to its natal area, where it was raised," said Bidrowski, adding, "The num- ber of resident geese has increased because they have adapted to living arotmd people." With growing num- bers of green lawns, corporate cen- ters, suburban ponds, and golf cours- es, we are creating more and more ideal habitat for resident geese, and thus they are thriving and reproduc- ing in these areas. For the most part geese are con- sidered a nuisance, causing mone- tary damage on golf courses and farms, as well as leaving piles of feces — over a pound a day — on lawns and sidewalks throughout the state. Although they are generally not a major problem, "Large num- bers of geese concentrated in a small pond can impact a pond's water quality," according to Gary Costanzo who manages the DGIF Migratory Game Bird Program. Where they pose the biggest threat, however, is around airports like Dulles, National, and Richmond as well as military bases. As we learned early this year, a goose lodged in the engine(s) of a plane can have catastrophic conse- Cjuences. The resicient goose hunting sea- son has "... helped a lot with popula- tion control," said Costanzo. Just sev- eral years ago, there were an estimat- ed 250,000 resident geese in Virginia. That number has dropped to some- where around 140,000. Costanzo ac- knowledged that they "... have a pret- ty good handle statewide on the resi- dent goose population," but that they can't control numbers where hunters do not have access. With increasing hunting pressure and loss of natural habitat, geese flock to areas where the grass is literally greener, providing them with a sound source of nutrients. These areas include office parks and suburban lawns that receive water all year. As a result, people have come up with all sorts of methods to force geese from these locations. Examples in- clude: noise makers, laser systems used at night, flare guns, scarecrows, pyrotechnics, remote control planes and boats, chemical sprays that make the grass taste bad and, of course. Bor- der collies. The goal in scaring geese from of- fice parks, neighborhoods, cemeter- ies, and runways is generally to get them to move to more natural habitat. Often they will return in a few days to the same area, but if you bother them every time they return, eventually they will leave. At least that is the idea. Albert Myers takes a systematic approach to removing geese from areas where they are not wanted. "It's like hunting," he said. Both Albert and 26 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Canada geese that remain year-round due to fa\ on become a nuisance to farmers and businesses. conditions and habitat Judy must utilize stealth in order to ef- fectively herd and scare off the birds. If Albert and Judy work an area with more than one pond, they begin at one end and move gradually to the other to keep the geese from hopping from pond to pond. "The key is they learn that the dog can and will invade their space in the water." At first Judy hesitates to enter the pond. She was born to herd, but to herd on dry ground. Albert repeated the command, "Way to me, Judy. Get in." Judy stalks back and forth anoth- er time before plunging from the bank, swimming in a Une wide to the right of the nervous geese and then circling around behind them. For a collie, she can really swim; in a mo- ment she has reached the middle of the pond. The geese grow increasing- ly more upset, tightening into a group and moving toward the shore where we are standing. "Come by," Albert yelled. Judy turns and goes wide to the left of the geese, forcing them back to a narrow section. After several more passes be- hind them, Judy has driven the geese into the corner by the dam. There is nowhere left for them to go now, and finally they rise noisily off the water, forming a V in the distance. "That will do," Albert yelled from tlie shore. Judy takes one last look at the geese, as if to make sure they are really gone, then turns back to Albert, receiving praise for her good work. Not long after leaving the water, she's hopping up and down, shaking all over us — the excitement of a job well done. Albert puts a towel over her and dries her off, passing her a few treats from his pocket, but she won't stay still for long. Stalking the banks and searching for more geese, Judy is quickly ready to go again, looking back over her shoulder, "Come on, come on." This is her game now. This is what she was bom to do. As for the geese, they will have to find greener pastvires somewhere else. D Tec Clarksoii is an English teacher at Deep Rim Higli School in Henrico Co. and runs Virginia Fishing Adventures, a fishing camp for kids; email@example.com. Editor's Note: Albert D. Myers, Jr. and Judy may be contacted at: Skyview Goose Control, 804-399-9670, or wwrw.skyviewgoosecontrol.com. By banding Canada geese, biologists can obtain data on the bird's movements and survival. This information is used to develop management strategies such as hunting season regulations. JUNE 2009 27 / nal 2009 Outdoor Calendar of Events Unless otherwise noted, for current infor- mation and registration on workshops go to "Upcoming Events" on the Depart- ment's Web site at www.HuntFishVA.com or call 804-367-7800. June 5-7: Free Freshwater and Saltwa- ter Fishing Days. June 13: Ladies' Day Shooting (Hand- gun or Shotgun) Clinics, Cavalier Rifle & Pistol Club; For reservations call (804) 370-7565 or e-mail H. Baskerville@comcast.net. June 16: Smallmouth Fishing Work- shop, New River, Radford. June 18, 20 and 25: Lights, Camera, Ac- tion: Photographing Flowers in the Gar- den; with Lynda Richardson; Lewis Ginter Botantical Gardens, Rich- mond; www.lewisginter.org. June 30: Float Fishing The James River, Buckingham. July 28: Flat Out Catfish Workshop, James River, Richmond. July 30, August 1 and 6: Lights, Cam- era, Actio}i: Photographing Butterflies and Other Cool Bugs in the Garden; with Lynda Richardson; Lewis Gin- ter Botantical Gardens, Richmond; www.lewisginter.org. August 7-9: Virginia Outdoor Sports- man Show, Richmond; www.sports- manshow.com. August 14-16: Mother-Daughter Out- doors Weekend, Holiday Lake 4-H Center, Appomattox. August 25: Flat Out Catfish Workshop II, James River, Richmond. August 29: Ladies' Day Shooting (Handgun or Shotgun) Clinics, Cava- lier Rifle & Pistol Club; For reserva- tions call (804) 370-7565 or e-mail H. BaskervilleC"'comcast.net. D 28 by Beth Hester Mount Rogers National Recreation Area Guidebook, 2nd ed. By Johnny Molloy 2008 University of Tennessee Press www.utpress.org ISBN-13: 978-1-57233-628-5 This engaging guide covers every- thing the intrepid traveler needs to know to enjoy one of Southern Ap- palachia's great outdoor destina- tions. With over 430 miles of trail to explore, these highland areas present the hiker, mountain biker, angler, equestrian, and camper with numer- ous adventure opportunities. A brief and interesting history of the region is followed by a section of small-scale area maps that segue into individual trail descriptions, each of which is prefaced by a helpful 'info- box' containing trail basics, such as trail type, difficulty, USGS topo refer- ences, and other highlights. Trail de- scriptions note stream crossings and trail junctures to help keep hikers ori- ented, and there are suggested loop trails that may be of particular inter- est to those who wish to explore a pre-blazed tract. There is so much to see and do that Molloy has thought- fully included a short section high- lighting favorite activities particular to major sections of the Mount Rogers area, such as fishing for rain- bow trout at Whitetop Laurel Creek, or visiting the old home sites and as- pens on the Sugar Maple Trail. Because the Mount Rogers re- gion appeals to a variety of user groups, adventurers are urged to ob- serve trail etiquette, and the text con- sistently reinforces the principles of "Leave No Trace." The guide's final grace note is the inclusion of four ap- pendices that contain important out- fitter and contact information. This is a truly comprehensive resource. D Congratulations to Michael and Brad Shelton (R), guided by Dennis Kivikko (orange cap), who had a successful hunt at Orapax Plantation in Goochland this past March. According to Brad, "This was our first time at a hunting preserve ... We hod a great time with wonderful, friendly people ...I can highly recommend Orapax Plantation to everyone." Go to http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/ shootingpreserves/ for more information. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www HuntFishVA.com I Northern Pinesnake Watch You can help conserve and protect the Northern pinesnake! The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries would like your assistance in re- porting current, past, live or dead pinesnake observations. If you have seen a pinesnake or know of a past observation in the state, please fill out the form below and send it to the address provided. Your personal informa- tion will remain confidential. Thank you for helping us protect a natural rarity! Please include the following information in your observation: Date observed: Observation location (be as specific as possible): . County or City/Town: Snake activity: moving resting dead other (explain) Additional comments: The below information will be used for confirmation purposes only. Name: Address: City/Town: State: Zip Code: t Daytime phone number: Additional information, such as photographs and/or location maps, is wel- come and should be included when possible. Send the completed form to Mike Pinder, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 2206 South Main Street, Suite C, Blacksburg, VA 24060. You can also respond via our new Web link, at: www.dgif.virginia.gov/pinesnake ^1 V^fl A^;^H| flKHpi |p JliJH !j 1 ^ y,^jB^^^^t .^^^^^1 ^^^^^^^B^c' W^^^^k 2009 Kids n Fishing Photo Contest Reminder: ♦ Photos must be postmarked no later thari June 20, 2009. ♦ Check wmv.WunfF/s/i WA.com for details. ♦ Send entry to 2009 Kids 'n Fishing Photo Contest, VDGIF, PO. Box 1 1 104 Richmond, VA 23230-1 104. Big Prize Packages! 29 /o r^ i he Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Hall of Fame list is a compila- tion of all the freshwater anglers who qualified for advanced awards in the Angler Recogriition Program. To achieve the status of Master Angler I, five trophy fish of different species must be caught and regis- tered with the Virginia Angler Recognition Program. For Master EI, 10 trophy fish of different species must be caught, and so on for the Master III or IV level. Expert anglers must catch and register 10 trophy fish of the same species. Each angler that accomplishes this feat receives a Master Angler or Expert Angler certificate and patch. Expert patches include the species on the patch. There is no fee or appli- cation for Master or Expert. If you have records prior to 1995 and believe you may have obtained this angling status, please call the Virginia Angler Recognition Pro- gram at (804) 367-1293 to have your records checked. The Creel-of-the-Year Award rec- ognizes the angler who accounts for the most trophy-size fish caught and registered in the Angler Recognition Program from January 1 through De- cember 31, annually. MASTER ANGLER I Roger Armentrout James Atkins, III John BeeLer Robert Bennett Brandon Blankenship James Boothe Milton Bowling David Boyers Roger Brown William Byrd James Cale, II Tamiro Chozu Mark Clark Billy Clevinger James Clifton, Jr. Arthur Coffman, Sr. Leonard Corum Joshua Davis Charles Gentry Michael Guinan William Haislip, Sr. Marshall Hancock Michael Harper, Jr. Christopher Hensley Robert Highlander, Jr. Justin Horton David Johnson Douglas Johnson Ronnie Knicley Jerry Krebs Jeffery Loving Anthony Martin Christopher May Timothy McClung Joseph Mehalick, Sr. Robert Miller Matthew Miller Palmer Moore Walter Moore Frank Nelson, III Burl Nidiffer John Novitsky Steve Perger, Jr. Jesse Redd Walter Reese Steven Rigney Clay Ross Kenneth Runyon, Jr. James Samuel Ricky Sears Howard Simpkins Anthony Smith Terry Smith Rebecca Smith Granville Smith, IV Kenneth Sowder Robert Sowder Wes Spruill Scott Thompson Kevin Tosh Hunter Tucker Patrick Veltman, Jr. Robert Wagner Michael Walts Timothy Walts Richard Webster Terry Windsor Terry Wood James Young MASTER LEVEL II Joe Burwell, Sr. Timothy Frink, Jr. James Gregory Basil Harper, Jr. John Jensen Donald MacBrair, II William Nicar Homer Reed LeRoy Rice, Jr. Kenneth Rigney Robert Scruggs Christopher Wells William Yost MASTER LEVEL III Derek Mayhew Donald Trantham, Jr. MASTER LEVEL IV Gary Harmon EXPERTS Largemouth Bass Russell Barlow, Jr. John Davies William Hall III Jason Hay 30 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVAcom Mickey Hopkins Jerry Johnson Barbara Smith Donald Smith Richard Stanton Smallmouth Bass Matthew Baldwin William Haines Gary Harmon Wally Heinzelmann Danny O'Dell, Jr. Gregory Rife Arnold Rose Leslie Stiltner Scott Warholic Crappi'e Robert Bennett Thomas Branham, Jr. George Clark Michael Harper, Sr. Cletaus Liston Frank Nelson, III Val Rapp, Jr. Bobby Whitlow Rock Bass Jimmie Edwards Sunfish James Gregory Shannon Miklandric Joshua Miklandric Eric Morin Gerard Peterson Robert Potts, Jr. Willie Ruffin, Jr. Kenneth Runyon, Sr. Larry Scarborough, Sr. David Spiers, Sr. Bradford Starkey Larry Wells Channel Catfish Stephen Miklandric Cecil Welcher, Sr. Blue Catfish Kevin Joyner John LaBossiere Oscar Laserna James Marcum Ronald Marrin, Jr. Michael Meier Stephen Miklandric Shawn Nelson Ryan Painter Joshua Pritchett David Roberson, Jr. Barry Roher Denny White, Jr. Flathead Catfish James Boothe Eddie Boothe William Brandon Robert Jimerson, Jr. Mark Joyce William Nicar Rainbow Trout Jon Brown Frank Camp Darrell Davis Mark Eavers Patrick Funkhouser Kevin Griffitts Kristopher Hale Michael Harper, Jr. Garry King Louis Marshall, III Stephen Miklandric Brian Moyers William Nicar Timothy Overstreet Robert Phipps, Sr. Stan Roberson Johnnie Roberson Darlene Simmons Edward Smith Bradford Starkey Michael Stevens Steven Stone Robert: Stover, Sr. Brook Trout Ronnie Davis Windell Doyle Mark Eavers Jimmie Edwards Joseph Prater John Smith, Sr. Wayne Snow James Wallace, Sr. Brown Trout Roger Lucas Billy Nelson, Jr. Joseph Rothgeb Chain Pickerel G. F. Brace Philip Morgan, Jr. Muskellunge Armando Mineiro Walleye Jerry Echols BillSchieman Yellow Perch Jeffrey Ervine Manuel Fernandes, Sr. James Gregory Marshall Hancock Thomas Harden Robert Highlander, Sr. Thomas Hoke Henry Moore Palmer Moore Steve Perger, Jr. Jeffrey Shell James Taylor Robert Wagner Michael Walts Gar James Marcum Bowfin Dine Hallmark, Sr. Carp Dylan Cooper Daniel Leibfreid CREFJ . OF THE YEAR Stephen Miklandric - Total 148 Largemouth Bass (6), Smallmouth Bass (1), Sunfish (56), White Perch (1), Channel Cat- fish (1), Blue Catfish (7), Flathead Catfish (1), Rainbow Trout (25), Brook Trout (8), Chain Pickerel (9), Northern Pike (1), Yellow Perch (25), Gar (6), and Bowfin (1) JUNE 2009 2008 Analer of the Year SPECIES SIZE Largemouth Bass, 14 lbs., 14 oz., 28 in. Smallmouth Bass, 6 lbs., 8 oz., 2IV2 in. Crappie, 4 Lbs., 8 oz., 19V2 in. Rock Bass, 1 lbs., 14 oz. Sunfish, 2 lbs., 13 oz., ISVzin. White Bass, 4 lbs., 3 oz., 19V4in. Striped Bass, 46 lbs., 44 in. Hybrid Striper, 10 lbs., 14 oz., 29 in. Freshwater Drum, 22 Lbs., 6 oz., 34 in. White Perch, 2 lb., 2 oz., l/Vzin. Channel Catfish, 30 lbs., 33 in. Blue Catiish, 81 Lbs., 5OV2 in. Flathead Catfish, 46 lbs. Rainbow Trout, 12 Lbs., 4 oz., 26V2 in. Brook Trout, 5 lbs., 13 oz., 21 in. Brown Trout, 15 lbs., 31 in. Chain Pickerel, 6 lbs., 13 oz., 26V2 in. Muskellunge, 39 Lbs., 51 in. Northern Pike, 15 lbs., 1 oz., 38 in. Walleye, 15 lbs., 5oz., 35in. Yellow Perch, 2 lbs., 8 oz., 14 in. Gar, 22 lbs., 4 oz. Bowfin, 12 lbs., 11 oz., 32 in. Carp, 44lbs., 38V2in. ANGLER'S NAME/HOME Lonnie Barr, Warrenton, VA Lester Kodger, Monterey, VA Charles Robbins, Jr., Scottsburg, VA Leonard Corum, Dolphin, VA Kathy Turner, Haysi, VA Anthony Smith, Gretna, VA Troy Dunn, Rustburg, VA Ronald Hall, Wise, VA Michael Fuller, Louisburg, NC Wesley Gibson, Crozet, VA Bryan Carter, St. Stephens Church, VA Skylar Leonard, Louisburg, NC Joshua Powell, Clover, VA Jerry Bartley, Port Repubhc, VA Will Helmick, Staunton, VA Will Helmick, Staunton, VA Sarah Pearman, Radford, VA Mitchell Dowdy, Blacksburg, VA Kenzie Snow, Staunton, VA James Padgett, Galax, VA Spencer Musick, Speedwell, VA Leonard Corum, Dolphin, VA Christopher Babb, Suffolk, VA Larry Robbins, Coeburn, VA BODY OF WATER DATE Private Pond 03/22/2008 Lake Moomaw 07/26/2008 Private Pond 05/01/2008 Nottoway River 03/23/2008 Flannagan Reservoir 06/06/2008 Leesville Lake 10/12/2008 Leesville Lake 11/23/2008 Flannagan Reservoir 10/08/2008 Buggs Island Lake 08/03/2008 Buggs Island Lake 05/10/2008 Mattaponi River 04/04/2008 Buggs Island Lake 02/24/2008 Dan River 04/30/2008 Hemlock Springs 11/22/2008 Hemlock Springs 01/31/2008 Cedar Springs 06/25/2008 Private Pond 03/02/2008 New River 08/10/2008 Heariihstone Lake 05/26/2008 New River 02/25/2008 Claytor Lake 03/21/2008 Lake Gaston 06/06/2008 Lake Cohoon 07/05/2008 Bear Creek Reservoir 07/15/2008 Please Note: You can find all you need to know about the Trophy Fish Program at www.HuntFishVA.com or call 804-367-1293. 32 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www HuntFishVA com mm by Ken and Maria Perrotte Brie Stuffed Quail /\ ne of the tastiest quail preparations we've ever tried \/ came during an outing to our neighboring state of West Virginia. Susan Jones is a chef at Smokey's on the Gorge in Lansing, co-located vdth Class VI River Runners. Jones credits her cooking style to training that grew out of "life experiences." She began working in restaurants when she was 13 and eventually became a cook out of necessity. Her father was a bird hunter who brought home a lot of quail and ducks for the family. In designing her new dish, Jones said, "I like quail. I like brie— thought I'd see how they paired." Her Brie Stuffed Quail debuted on Mother's Day 2008 at a special feast that Smokey's hosts as part of a breast cancer research fundraiser. Jones expects it to become a signature dish and, based on its simplicity and taste, we expect the same. For more about Smokey's, see http://www.class- vi.com/smokeysonthegorge.cfm or call 1-800-252-7784. Brie Stuffed Quail With Triple Berry Coulis and Tarragon Pesto Brie Stuffed Quail 16 (4-ounce) quail, skin on, rinsed and patted dry 16 oz. brie cheese teaspoons kosher salt teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper cup extra virgin olive oil Season each quail inside and out v^th salt and pepper. Brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Preheat oven to 400°. Stuff cavity under quail skin with 1 ounce brie cheese. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining quail. Roast until cooked through (cut into inner thigh; meat will be slightly pink) about 15 minutes. If you prefer, the quail can be grilled instead of roasted. Be careful to not overcook. Grilling always changes the flavor a little. To serve, place quail on platter. Drizzle coulis over top of quail and place a small dollop of fresh tarragon pesto on each serving. Garnish plate with leftover tarragon and fresh berries and serve. Triple Berry Coulis Va pound frozen, unsweetened blackberries, thawed 74 pound frozen, unsweetened raspberries, thawed 74 pound frozen blueberries, thawed 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of semi-dry white wine (chenin blanc recommended) 6 tablespoons (give or take a couple! ) sugar divided 1 teaspoon brandy 1 172 72 72 Place berries, wine, and 4 tablespoons sugar in blender and puree. Pour into medium saucepan. Bring to simmer, stir- ring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 8 min- utes. Strain into medium bowl. Discard solids in strainer. Whisk in brandy and sweeten with remaining sugar. Note: This can be made up to 5 days ahead. Cover and chill; re- whisk before using. larragon Pesto 2 2 % large shallots, peeled tablespoons-plus "/scup olive oil cup (packed) fresh tarragon cup (packed) fresh parsley tablespoons toasted cashews Preheat oven to 350°. Place shallots in small baking dish. Drizzle v^th 2 tablespoons oil. Cover dish with foil. Bake shallots 30 minutes. Uncover; roast shallots until soft, about 20 minutes longer. Puree shallots, any oil in dish, and Vi cup oil in blender. Add Vi cup oil and all remaining ingredients; puree. Season v^th salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead; chill. Wine pairing: Pair the dish v^th a dry white, maybe a chenin blanc from France or a chardonnay that's fermented in stainless steel. The dish doesn't have that grilled flavor that lends itself to the oakier chardonnays. Get a wine that's clean and crisp, with firm but not overpowering acids or too much citrus. Many sauvignon blancs will work well. D JUNE 2009 33 by Lynda Richardson Calling All Birds This captive screecii owl was really confused wlien he met my fake owl made of quail feathers and Styrofoam balls. An owl decoy can really bring the songbirds close when used with a screech owl recording. "^' Lynda Richardson rhe whinny call scraped the morning like fingernails on a chalkboard. I slowly cocked my head, straining to hear that first angry response. Within minutes a raspy hissing could be heard com- ing closer and closer. Suddenly, an offended Carolina wren appeared, mouth open wide and tail bobbing. Then, an American robin flew in, flicking and ftissing. Within min- utes, the forest edge vibrated with agitation. A dozen or more birds flit to-and-fro around a stock-still, brown feathered impersonator. My tape recording and screech owl decoy were working. Now I had a great opportunity to photograph songbirds up close and personal. One of my favorite things to do is call songbirds using a recording of screech owl vocalizations. Why, you might ask, would these calls bring in songbirds, which normally might serve as a screech owl's din- ner? Well, to understand it you have to know something about bird behavior. When a bird spots or hears an offending predator, it sounds off an alarm and other birds join in to see what's going on. As numbers grow, they can eventually push the predator out of the area — reducing their chances of becoming dinner. 34 This behavior is called "mob- bing" for obvious reasons. You can take advantage of this phenomenon and use the calls of a predator to lure curious birds to investigate. The sounds will draw them in, and a re- alistic looking decoy will hold their attention longer. When I use this technique to photograph birds, I either use a blind or my truck, or hide in nearby cover. My bird caller is an old Johnny Stew- art Game Caller: a large square box with a rechargeable battery that plays cassette tapes. It comes with a good-sized detachable speaker, which plugs into the box, and by using a 25-foot extension cord, I am able to place the speaker under my owl decoy some distance from my blind. Nowadays, several manufac- turers make a more modem, lighter version of this outfit, but my old player still gets the job done! If you want to explore an excit- ing and fun way to get great bird photographs and don't mind a lot of fussing and tail flicking, try calling the birds to you. It offers a lot of sur- prises. Good luck! r I For more information on using and purchasing game callers and screech owl tapes, go to: www.johnnystew- art.com and www.wribiz.net. You are invited to submit one to five of your best photographs to "Image of the Month," Virginia Wildlife Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230-1104. Send origi- nal slides, super high-quality prints, or high-res 360 dpi jpeg files on disk and include a self-addressed, stamped en- velope or other shipping method for return. Also, please include any perti- nent information regarding how and where you captured the image and what camera and settings you used, along with your phone number. We look forward to seeing and sharing your work with the readers of Virginin Wildlife] Congratulations to Betty Cauthorne ofSand- ston for her fabulous photograph of two young red-tailed hawks enjoying a birdbath. The hawks grew up near her office in Henri- co, and on several occasions Betty saw them drinking from water puddles. One thing led to another and soon a birdbath was in- stalled, complete with roses, much to the de- light of the hawks who obviously loved it. Way to go, Betty! VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www, HuntFishVA.com I ^cQ:^ by Tom Guess That's Not Good Jt was 1993 and my wife and I lived in Kodiak, Alaska, where I was stationed with the U. S. Coast Guard. We moved there in early '92 and did some halibut fishing with friends a few times, and got 'hooked'. Many activities in Alaska involve the outdoors, but we agreed that fishing was one we both liked, so we decided to find a good, inexpensive boat — if there is such a thing? One day I was leaving for work and there she was for sale: our first boat — a 1969 banana yellow and white, 16-foot Reinell with red vinyl seats. It came with all the latest in boating technology avail- able in 1969 (wink), like cable steering and a pull-start 40hp outboard. She was a beauty! After some minor repairs to the fiberglass and application of fresh registration decals and a good clean- ing, we had our first real boat ready for her maiden voyage! It was early June and the freezer was looking a little sparse on fresh fish, so we made preparations to take a halibut trip. We loaded our boat with fishing gear and added oars, three day /night flares, wearable life jackets, an anchor, and some rain- wear. Once we got to the boat ramp, se- cured our gear, and launched, we tied off with the motor nmning for some time to be sure it ran well enough to go. Once everything seemed to be in order, we headed out to find the per- fect fishing spot. After some time of not catching anything, we decided to pull the an- chor and head in. I secured our fish- ing rods and proudly pulled the rope on the trusty outboard ... with no luck. I distinctly remember saying, "Hmm, that's not good." I pulled again, and again. Finally it purred like a kitten, and with a sense of relief we were heading back to the ramp. I brought the engine up to full speed and had our awesome little boat on a plane. I said to my wife, "Main, this en- gine runs nice," and suddenly I heard a pop and we stopped dead. I repeat- ed, "Hmm, that's not good." My wife echoed, "Yeali, that's not good," and we both got a little worried. 1 pulled on the motor, and again, with no luck. After checking the spark plugs, fuel lines, vent cap, and priming bulb, I pvilled again, and again, and once more. After a heart-to-heart chat with that outboard and a few more pulls, we still had nothing. Suddenly our awesome boat didn't seem so awe- some anymore, and we realized we were drifting at a pretty good clip with the tide away from the direction we needed to go. It was time to resort to our back- up plan and row. We pulled at those oars almost as hard as I pulled on the engine, and just kept drifting farther away. My wife mentioned our flares and I thought about the same tlung, but there were no other boats or air- craft or houses in sight, so there was a good chance our flares would go im- seen. With no cell phones and no VHF-FM radio, I decided I was going to start that motor if it killed me. I pulled one last time and heard the sweet sound of an outboard run- ning — only it wasn't ours. Instead, it was another boat coming to check on us, and it happened to be someone I knew who towed us in. It's always a good rule to keep your engine in working order by perform- ing regtilar maintenance. Keep your family informed by leaving them with a float plan. And finally, though hard to do, it's wise to quell your ex- citement when you get a new boat and first be sure everything checks out before you hit the water! D Tom Guess, U. S. Coast Guard (Ret), serves as a statewide coordinator for the Boating Safety Ed- ucation Program at DGIF. JUNE 2009 35 Magazine subscription-related calls only 1 -800-7 1 0-9369 Twelve issues for just $ 1 2.95! All other calls to (804) 367- 1 000 Visit our Web site at www.HuntFish VA.com This workshop is designed primarily for females 9 years of age and above to learn the outdoor skills usually associat- ed with hunting and fishing, but useful in a variety of outdoor pursuits. All courses focus on outdoor skills using hands-on instruction. Outdoor skills courses include outdoor cooking, fly-fishing, wild edibles, introduction to firearms, skeet shooting, archery, wilderness survival, map and compass, animal tracking, and more. This workshop is for you if: You would like to get your family in- volved in outdoor activities and need a place to start. You have never tried outdoor activi- ties but have hoped for an opportuni- ty to learn. You are a beginner who hopes to im- prove your skills. You are looking for the camaraderie of like-minded individuals. This year's event will be held at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center near Ap- pomattox. Registration is $85 per per- son, which includes meals, lodging, course instruction, use of equipment, and evening events. Registration dead- line is luly 24, 2009 at 5 p.m. For more information, visit our Web site www.dgif.virginia.gov/events with links to registration forms for downloading or call the Outdoor Education Office at (804) 367-0656 or (804) 367-7800.